With a name as solidified in the world of technology as Bill Gates has, imagining where he grew up conjures images of a childhood spent behind a screen, establishing himself as a prodigy. Where exactly did the Microsoft founder grow up?
Bill Gates was born and raised in Washington, in the city of Seattle, the son of William Gates Sr. and Mary Gates. The neighborhood he grew up in was Sand Point, named after a peninsula on Lake Washington.
Gates had a fairly comfortable upbringing, raised in a high-income household where his development was constantly encouraged by his parents. That stimulus to succeed from his mother and father wouldn’t initially be aimed at a career in computer software development, however.
Gates’ Family Growing Up
Although it’s not necessarily always an indicator of future success, both of Gates’ parents were incredibly driven and successful in their respective fields.
Bill Gates Sr. was not just an accomplished lawyer but had also founded his own law firm, Shidler McBroom & Gates. Bill’s mother, Mary Gates, was also flourishing in her field of banking, becoming the first woman to join the board of directors for Washington’s First Interstate Bank.
Just like Bill, both Bill Sr. and Mary were born and raised in Washington, which is also where they both attended the university that they met each other at. It was a short period of time after they had completed their education at university that they wed, tying the knot in 1951.
By the time of Gates’ birth in 1955, Gates Sr. and his wife had already had a baby girl as well, Kristianne. The family was later joined by another addition, the youngest of the 3 siblings, Libby.
Gates lived with a family who not only were goal orientated and motivated to achieve but also one that was highly competitive, a quality that they did their best to encourage in their children.
That kind of competitive, victory focused mindset that was inadvertently drilled into him during his childhood years apparently stuck, as in the future Gates would be obsessed with constantly moving forward and reaching new achievements with his company Microsoft.
The High School Years
Gates was a student at Lakeside School from the age of 13, a school proved to be fortunate for him to attend, as it gave him access to the kind of technology that sparked his interest in computers and computer software.
In the 60s and 70s when Gates went through his high school years, the experience of a computer was as far away as possibly imaginable compared to what we have now. It was the world of the programmer, a machine designed to execute code.
This new world of computing capabilities proved to be the perfect environment for Gates, as he took to the new-fangled technology like a fish to water, fascinated and intrigued by the computer’s ability to perfectly follow the instructions he gave it.
All throughout Gate’s teenage years, he went from milestone to milestone in the world of computing, starting out initially with some basic interest in programming, all the way to debugging software for a tech company.
Long before attending university or forming Microsoft, Gates had been at the heart of multiple ventures involving his interest in computers, from the Lakeside Programmers Club to Traf-O-Data.
Gates already had the spirit of entrepreneurialism in his heart, one that he soon found himself set to fully embrace.
The Makings of a Billionaire
As was previously mentioned, becoming the head of a world-changing computer and technology company wasn’t the first plan for the young Bill Gates. With a father who was a prominent and well-respected lawyer, the plan was for his son to follow suit.
For the longest time, it did seem like Gates was going to go down the path that destiny had seemingly laid out for him, entering Harvard to pursue a law degree. Almost everyone already knows how this story ends, however, as it’s one of the most famous and toted facts about Gates: he dropped out.
We know now that the reasons for his dropping out were to do with his newfound love for computers and the ever-growing world of technology. The same love that led him to form Microsoft after leaving university.